BACKGROUND

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Work and Some Other Stuff

It's been a busy week at work. We are getting ready to move out of our current offices and into new digs tomorrow. This week was all about packing up our desks while still getting work done. There was a big project meeting today that I had to prepare some documents for. I worked feverishly for the last two days on those.

I'm excited about our office move. I get my own office in the new place. In our current offices, we are doubled up and in some cases, tripled up. I share my current office with two other people. Even the president/owner of the company shares her office with someone. There is no other choice since we've long outgrown our current building. I'm excited about the new place. It will be nice to have my own space. I think I will be even more productive when I am by myself.

I really, really love my job. For the first time in my life, everything about my work environment is wonderful. My boss is great, my co-workers are great, my salary is really great - I recently got a substantial raise. It's nice to actually want to go to work in the morning.

Now to the Other Stuff from my blog title. I read a news story today that is so disturbing, I don't even know what to say other than "My God." WARNING - this is graphic:

The link to the story is here: Disturbing News Story. The story is about a man who was stabbed repeatedly and then beheaded on a Greyhound bus traveling in Canada. It was an apparent random act of violence by a mentally disturbed man. I read in another news story that the victim was between 18 and 20 years old. The murderer stabbed him and beheaded him. The rest of the passengers got off the bus while this was going on and then one of the passengers rounded up several others to go back in and see if they could stop the crime. It was too late by then. Frankly, it was probably too late by the time they all filed off the bus.

According to witnesses, the killer actually paraded around the bus with the head in his hand, showing it to passengers who were outside and had blocked him inside the bus. I am just appalled and terribly saddened for those who witnessed this, but especially for the family of the victim. I cannot even imagine the pain of finding out something like this happened to your loved one.

My prayers are with all of those involved in this.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My, My

It was a very busy weekend for me. I was on the go from Friday to Sunday. A friend called me at work on Friday and asked if I could have dinner with her. I did that after work. Saturday, I got up early and drove 30 miles to attend boot camp with my friend, R. Boot camp is an hour-long exercise (read torture) experience. For the small price of $10, I got to realize just how out of shape I am. R is 32 weeks pregnant and in wonderful shape. I'm really proud of her for keeping up with exercising throughout her pregnancy. She really made me want to get in better shape myself. If she's exercising while pregnant, I can certainly get my non-pregnant lazy butt off the couch.

After boot camp, I went to the home of J and A, who are wonderful friends of Dear Husband and me. We have recently gone in with J and A on a fruit/veggie co-op deal. For $7 a week, we get some great fruits and veggies. I picked up our box and then asked if I could take their kiddo, C, to a swimming party my in-laws were giving. They agreed and I sent Dear Husband to kidnap C later in the afternoon. C's mom, A, was such a good sport about letting her go. It was the first time C had been anywhere without either her parents or her grandparents. I totally understood the worry. It's tough to let your baby go for the first time with other people, regardless of who they are.

C is such a wonderful child. She has a special place in my heart and I think she knows it! At 2.5 years old, she is smart and funny and very sociable. She had a great time at the party. She grasps new things REALLY quickly. I put her in a floating ring and held on to her hands. Then I told her to kick her feet and she did it! She is going to pick up swimming with no problem, I can tell that. She really seemed to love the water. The rest of the party consisted of cake and ice cream and hanging out with the other kids. Then, we took a very tired C home to her parents. It was a great day for all.

This morning, I was able to sleep in, which was nice. In the afternoon, I made the trek to the Pearland area to see my friend, P. I adore P, she has THE best sense of humor and is just the sweetest person. We went to Olive Garden and then headed over to a showing of Mamma Mia. It was such a fun movie and made me want to get up and dance. After the movie, I hung out with P at her house and gave tons of attention to Spike, who is P's adorable Yorkie. Spike is also Peanut's fiance. There is much love there.

I drove home after that and ran two quick errands that had to be done. Even though this has been a super busy weekend, it has really been worth it. I had a great time with everything, even boot camp. Still, I look forward to sleeping in tomorrow and doing absolutely nothing all day. I'm SO glad I have Mondays off.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wise Guy

I spent the weekend in San Antonio with my dad. I flew there on Saturday and returned on Monday. The plane ticket was cheaper than it would have cost me in gas to drive. I enjoy flying there because the flight only takes about an hour versus the four hours of driving the trip would entail.

My dad met me at the airport and we headed to my favorite San Antonio chow house: Bill Miller's BBQ. That stuff is like crack on a plate. After a great dinner there, we went over to At&T Stadium to watch a Silver Stars game. The Silver Stars are San Antonio's WNBA team. It was an amazing game. I'm not even a big fan of basketball, but I had a fantastic time. My dad and I had nearly court-side seats. We were about two rows back from the court so we saw all the action up close. It was fun to scream for our team.

We headed back to my dad's house after that where we talked and hung out. My dad is so very wise. The entire weekend was full of great advice about anything and everything. The amazing thing about my dad is that his advice is not given in answer to any question in particular. It's just part of what he says. When we are talking about any particular topic, pearls of wisdom just keep coming. He doesn't have to try, but he says things that are so profound and helpful. He will be 64 in September so he has a lot to draw on from what has been a very full life.

One of the many things I like about my dad's house is how much it feels like home. I didn't grow up there, he bought the place in 2004 when he retired from driving, but I have my own room there and he leaves everything just as I left it the last time I was there. It's just so comfortable and comforting. I love it.

Sunday found dad and me at an afternoon showing of Kit Kittredge. It was an absolutely adorable movie and worth seeing. Afterwards, we went to Texas Land and Cattle where I had a great steak. I was very full and ready for a good night's sleep after that.

It was a wonderful weekend. I didn't grow up with my dad in my everyday life. My parents divorced when I was 4 and he was a career Army man. That meant he was stationed in Germany for a good portion of my childhood. When I went to college in 1994, he had retired from the Army and become a cross-country truck driver. He visited me fairly often in college. It was in 2002 that we really became close. I moved to Houston and he was in San Antonio. Although he was still driving for several weeks at a time, he was able to come back to his Texas home base so we spent a lot of time together.

It has truly been wonderful to have both a father and a friend in my dad. I love you dad!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Good Day

Dear Husband's birthday was yesterday. He doesn't care one way or the other about birthday celebrations, but I think they're very important. So, I threw a party for him today. It was a small group of family and friends and we had a wonderful time. We had pizza, cake, and good conversation, all of which make for a fun get-together.

My dad flew in yesterday from San Antonio for the party. Sadly, he was able to get a plane ticket for less than it would have cost him to make the roughly four-hour drive from San Antonio. I took the afternoon off work and went to get him at the airport. He flew into the airport that was about an hour away since Southwest services that airport and not the one near me. It was ok though because I was able to listen to my book on tape while driving to the airport. I finished it tonight. It was Legacy of Silence by Belva Plain and it was excellent! I was riveted by it.

I made it to the airport and wandered around trying to locate my dad. I could have called him on my cell if I had my cell. About 20 miles into my drive to the airport, I realized I had left my cell phone in the bathroom at work. When I finally located my dad, he said that Dear Husband had my phone. It seems that someone in the dentist's office down the hall from the restroom had found my phone and called the last number that had called me. That happened to be my dad. My dad then called Dear Husband who works in the building next door to mine. Dear Husband retrieved my phone from the dentist's office. Thank God. I just got my phone in October, I would not have been at all happy about having to buy a new one right now.

After retrieving my dad from the airport, I stopped by the office of Robin, a friend of mine who is a fellow lawyer. A few months ago, she was doing fund raising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. Part of that fund raising was a Pampered Chef party, which I was unable to make, but I ordered online to support the cause. Robin and I kept trying to meet up, but were unable to do so for whatever reason. Well, I finally got to meet up with her at her office yesterday. I retrieved my Pampered Chef items and I got to see Robin with her 20-week pregnant belly. This is the first baby for Robin and her husband and I am really happy for them both!

So all in all, everything worked out - I got my phone back, found my dad at the airport, picked up my Pampered Chef items after six months, and enjoyed a great get-together today. After the party was over, Dear Husband and I cleaned up the house and I took a nice, hot bath to unwind and relax. Tomorrow, I will take my dad to the airport and will return home to a long nap and a day of ease. The perfect after-party recovery!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mending by the Minute

After being unable to sleep for five nights in a row because of the near constant coughing, I finally sought professional help. On my lunch hour on Tuesday, I went to the CVS Drug Store near my work. They have a Minute Clinic there staffed by nurse practitioners (NP). I have a physician, but going to see her would have required taking the whole afternoon off since I would have to drive to her office, wait in the waiting room, and then wait in the exam room. With the Minute Clinic, they saw me right away. It's a great resource for medical issues that don't necessarily require an actual doctor. They also accept insurance, which of course is a great help.

After performing the exam, it was determined that I have an upper respiratory infection. I had been coughing all night and some of the day as well. This was not your ordinary coughing, this was more the type that caused people around me to wonder if I was choking and/or about to keel over and die.

I walked out of the clinic with an antibiotic, an inhaler, cough syrup with codeine, and some topical prescription ointment for my mosquito bite scabs. The NP noticed them on my arm and gave me the ointment. Tuesday night was the first night I was able to sleep. I was up maybe once or twice, but basically I slept. The following nights were much the same. I am feeling SO much better, although I'm extraordinarily tired, which is a side effect of some of the medications as well as something to be expected with having been this ill.

I had thought this was a basic cold/mild flu, but it was much worse than that. When I have a cold, I can generally get relief from Nyquil or some other OTC medicine. This time, they did nothing at all for my symptoms. I'm just incredibly happy to finally be on the mend.